WILLIAM RUSSELL DOUGLAS Thursday, March 19, 1936 - Thursday, May 18, 2017
William Russell "Bill" Douglas, age 81, passed away quietly, Thursday, May 18, 2017 in the Republic Nursing & Rehab, Republic, Missouri. He was born on March 19, 1936 in Faye, Oklahoma, the son of Virgil and Freida Douglas. Bill was the youngest of seven children, six who have preceded him in death: brothers, Jack and Tom Douglas, and sisters, Floris Douglas, Dorothy Hicks, and Joyce Wright.
Bill leaves his wife of 45 years, Delores; daughter, Jennifer L. Cocherell and husband Kevin; daughter, Heather D. Douglas; granddaughters, Winter (12) and Scarlett (9) Caswell; a sister, Mary Carpenter; and many close nieces and nephews who call him Uncle Russ. Family was important to the young man who used to shine shoes for a nickel and raise heck.
Bill graduated from Lebanon High School, Lebanon Missouri in 1954, joined the Air Force, and was honorably discharged September 1962. He then began his career working at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, IL for the US Army Armament Material Readiness Command as a Mechanic Journeyman and later for the Munitions and Chemical Command as an Ordnance Equipment Specialist. He primarily worked with weapons systems on the Cobra, Apache Helicopters, and Abrams Tanks. During his time he met and married Delores Sloop on Dec. 6, 1971.
Bill's government service took him all over the US and overseas, to Vietnam, Jordan, Thailand, West Germany, and Korea. He spent the majority of his career living in Davenport, IA, but, the highlight of his career was the five years he spent with his family in Hammersbach-Markobel, West Germany (1981-1986). Bill embraced the German people and culture. He and his wife proudly became the god-parents to Cornelia Schmidt, daughter of Anja and Johann Schmidt of Gelnhausen, Hessen, Germany.
Bill enjoyed hunting, fishing and long drives through the countryside. Bill retired to Billings, Missouri in 1992. In his 70's he developed dementia and experienced mini strokes. Bill was a loving husband, father, brother, and uncle who had a big heart, was disciplined, and had a mischievous sense of humor.
A memorial service, with military honors, will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Friday, June 16, 2017 in Missouri Veterans Cemetery, 5201 S. Southwood Rd., Springfield, MO 65804. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Meadors Funeral Home, to help with final expenses. Online condolences may be shared at www.meadorsfuneralhome.com